You may be shocked upon first entering a car accident. But what is more shocking is if the other driver speeds away at a moment’s notice. This is what is known as a hit-and-run accident. Read on to discover whether you can sue a driver who fled the scene of the accident and how a seasoned Panama City car accident attorney at Manuel & Thompson, PA can help you identify the negligent driver.

Why might a hit-and-run accident occur?

You may be confused as to why the other driver did not give you the courtesy of remaining at the scene of the accident, exchanging information with you, etc. But there may be extenuating circumstances that explain the other driver’s reasoning. They are as follows:

  • The driver may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The driver may not have been carrying the state-mandated automobile insurance.
  • The driver may have had outstanding warrants or previous traffic tickets.
  • The driver may have been driving without a license or with a suspended license.
  • The driver may not have been a United States citizen, may have been on parole, or otherwise may have other legal problems.
  • The driver may have panicked and entered “fight-or-flight” mode.

Worth mentioning is that the aforementioned explanations should not excuse the other driver from their fault in the matter. They must still be held accountable for their part in the accident and for their fleeing the scene, whether it be via an insurance claim or a personal injury claim.

Is it possible to sue a driver who fled the scene of the accident?

When a negligent driver flees the scene of the accident, it may be difficult to figure out who to direct your personal injury claim toward. However, it may be doable if the police can track down the driver. With this, it may help to provide the police with as much information as possible. Such information may have to be retained within seconds of your car accident occurring. That said, it is best to take the following approach:

  1. Watch the car and jot down down its identifying components (i.e., make, model, color, license plate number, etc).
  2. Watch the driver and jot down their identifying characteristics (i.e., sex, race, ethnicity, hair color and style, clothing color and style, etc).
  3. Call 911 and provide the dispatcher with all the information you collected about the car and its driver.
  4. Wait for a law enforcement officer to come to the scene and provide them with this identifying information, alongside a recount of how the accident played out.

You must take the initiative and reach out to one of the competent Panama City auto accident attorneys at your earliest possible convenience. Our team at Manuel & Thompson, PA will be happy to serve you.